Johnson gets caught up in a pantomime because of personal evasion

Don’t go to work, go to a party. That’s the incredible advice from our prime minister, whose abrupt decision to trigger the government’s Covid Plan B is like a man shouting “look over there!” while he tries to put his pants back on.

It’s pantomime season anyway, and Boris Johnson wanted a distraction from Downing Street last year Christmas party, and other cover up going home to sleep. The prime minister’s two scientific advisers will receive medals for maintaining their poker face, announced new restrictions in the boardroom where Allegra Stratton, a former press consultant, was filmed trying to figure out what to say if asked about the party Johnson kept saying never took place.

Stratton’s quick, tearful resignation stands in stark contrast to the reluctance of some male members of this government – Williamson, Hancock, Jenrick – to leave office. And they were really in charge of something.

As self-inflicted injuries pile up, the insult to our intelligence is enormous. Apparently there was a party – as much as seven, according to some reports – at a time when the government criminalized mixing. The insistence that “instructions have been followed” is a cruel joke at the expense of all those who have endured real hardship during the period of strict lockdown. Poll voter proposal no longer trust government to handle the pandemic. It has distrusted the public, not because of a matter of principle or ideology, but simply out of an arrogant disregard for facts and rules.

“A boy will be a boy” sometimes people would chuckle when my sons were little. I remember when I was four years old screaming “that’s not me!” after we watched him throw his brother’s toys down the drain. Conservative MPs once said “Boris will be Boris” with the same forgiving smile. Now, they need to take responsibility for what they raised the country. Having kept him out of office for years, because they didn’t trust or respect him, they should have known better. Now, some are wondering if they’re exaggerating his electoral magic.

We are not at the point of resignation yet. As a seasoned Tory congressman reminded me this week, “assassinations take time”. But Johnson’s cavalier attitude and disregard for detail infected everything. Ministers and MPs are tired of covering up the misjudgments of their leaders. Officials affected by the chaos, implemented policies at will, with routine decisions delayed. It’s not just the public that is becoming more skeptical: so is Whitehall.

Only this, I think, could explain the horrifying revelations of Britain’s failure to get more Afghans out of Kabul this summer, in a failed evacuation that left many at the mercy of the Taliban. Read 40-page testimony by Raphael Marshall, a former diplomat, evokes the apathy that haunts the corridors of power. It is a story of empty offices, of thousands of emails backed up from desperate Afghans, of heroic lone souls trying to save citizens when others are stuck in stressful working hours. straight. One Saturday when Afghanistan’s capital fell, 25-year-old Marshall was the sole operator of the evacuation desk, making life-or-death decisions without clear criteria.

He is operating in a vacuum. Dominic Raab, then secretary of state, was Report denied that he returned from a two-day vacation after he was asked to, but his top civil servant admitted he had not returned for 11 days after the fall of Kabul. At a hearing almost as dramatic as Downing Street saga . wallpaper, Sir Philip Barton declared that returning from vacation earlier won’t make much of a difference to the number of people evacuated. If that’s true, why did he join the job? What official, prime minister or foreign minister would not want to plunge into such a historic crisis? What moves these people?

There was no doubt that there was fury with the Biden administration over the impending withdrawal. But another leader must have rolled up his sleeves to help everyone they could. It seems that the main thing that moved the prime minister was the avoidance of accountability. One of Marshall’s most devastating claims is that some emails are marked with a flag, so that they can be claimed to have been read unread. Another problem was that the evacuation of cats and dogs by animal activist Pen Farthing limited the number of people that could be rescued because the number of soldiers present to escort them to the airport was very limited. Number 10 has always denied any involvement of the prime minister in the animal rescue. This week, when Johnson’s congressional aide Trudy Harrison was said to have given written permission for the evacuation of the animals, Downing Street tried to deny it was “constituency business“. But Farthing was not one of the elements that made up Harrison.

They treat us like fools. And they can’t stop. Raab attempted to dismiss Marshall as a “junior office worker” – although he did not deny Marshall’s claim that only 5% of those were at risk of being kicked out by the Taliban. He is now – conveniently – in isolation, having come into contact with the Australian deputy prime minister who has contracted Covid. No minister wants to defend Mr Johnson on television.

“Play your part”, the prime minister begs the nation, announcing new Covid restrictions. Perhaps he could start by playing his role – which should have been that of the prime minister. His tagline, now, is “It’s my party and I’ll lie if I want to”. But the audience is shouting: “Look behind you!”

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